Major Admission Requirements

African American Studies

Students usually declare their major in African American studies in the second semester of their sophomore year. Students are admitted to the major if they have earned a grade of B- or better in one of the three required African American studies core courses: AFAM202, AFAM203, or AFAM204.

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American Studies

To major in American studies, students should submit a major declaration request through their electronic portfolio and present a completed application to the administrative assistant at the Center for the Americas. The major application can be downloaded from the AMST website. The AMST chair will review applications and approve accepted applications through the electronic portfolio system.

Beginning with the class of 2016, majors will be required to complete an Introduction to American Studies course (AMST 174 to AMST 177) before the end of their junior year. Transfer students should meet with the department chair to discuss which courses taken elsewhere can be offered as substitutes for Wesleyan courses.

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Anthropology

If you plan to major in anthropology, you should take ANTH101, the department's required gateway course, during your first or second year. A minimum grade of B in ANTH101 is required for acceptance into the major. Students enrolled in ANTH101 during the spring of their sophomore year may declare the major if their midterm grade is a B or higher.

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Archaeology

To apply to become a major in archaeology, a student must have taken or be currently enrolled in either a Gateway or a Thinking Through Archaeology course and earn a grade of B or better. Following electronic application, admission will be determined by a meeting of the ARCP faculty.

Gateway courses

ARCP201 Art and Archaeology of the Bronze Age Mediterranean                            1
ARCP202 Paleoanthropology: The Study of Human Evolution 1
ARCP204 Approaches to Archaeology 1
ARCP214 Survey of Greek Archaeology 1
ARCP223 Survey of Roman Archaeology and Art 1
ARCP268 North America Before Columbus 1

Thinking through archaeology

ARCP234 Art and Society in Ancient Pompeii 1
ARCP244 Pyramids and Funeral Pyres: Death and the Afterlife in Greece and Egypt 1
ARCP285 Off with its Pedestal! The Greek Vase as Art and Artifact 1
ARCP292 Archaeology of Food, Trade, and Power in South India 1
ARCP304 Medieval Archaeology 1
ARCP372 Archaeology of Death 1

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Art History

By the end of the sophomore year, a prospective major should plan to have taken one 100-level introductory course and at least two other courses in art history. For admission to the major, the student must have at least a B average in courses taken in art history and a B average overall.

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Art Studio

At the time of application for major status, a student is expected to have completed ARST131 and one art history course, along with another art studio course. The prospective major must consult with an art studio faculty member (in the proposed area of study) who is willing to serve as advisor. Some faculty may expect the student to have completed outstanding work in a second-level course within a particular medium (for example, ARST352 or ARST340) before agreeing to support a major applicant. Together, student and major advisor devise a program of study for the final two years. Admission to the major requires a review by the art studio faculty and a minimum academic average of B and an average of B+ for at least three courses in the department, two of which must be in the art studio program.

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Astronomy

The standard introductory course for potential majors and other science-oriented students is ASTR155. It may be taken in the first or sophomore year. It assumes a good high school preparation in physics and some knowledge of calculus. Potential majors with a good knowledge of astronomy may place out of this course by demonstrating proficiency in the material; anyone wishing to do so should speak with the instructor. ASTR211 is a sophomore-level course appropriate for interested nonmajors as well as a gateway course to the major.

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Biology

Students are encouraged to begin their major in the first year so that they can take maximum advantage of upper-level biology courses and research opportunities in later years. However, the major can certainly be successfully completed if begun during sophomore year, and many students are able to combine the biology major with a semester abroad.

A prospective biology major begins with a series of two core introductory courses. Students should begin the core series with BIOL181 and its associated laboratory course, BIOL191, which are offered in the fall semester. BIOL181 is offered in a number of small sections rather than a single large lecture class. These small sections allow for problem-based learning at a more individualized pace as students master the first semester of university-level biology. Students should enroll separately for the lab course, BIOL191. These courses do not have prerequisites or co-requisites, but it is useful to have some chemistry background or to take chemistry concurrently. In the spring semester, the prospective major should take BIOL182 and its laboratory course, BIOL192. An optional spring course, BIOL194, is offered to students of BIOL182 who wish a challenging reading and discussion experience in addition to the lectures.

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Chemistry

Students who anticipate the possibility of majoring in chemistry should, if possible, take CHEM143/CHEM144 as first-year students. The program for majors is described in detail below. Students who have scores of 4 or 5 in the chemistry Advanced Placement examination or  5, 6, or 7 on IB courses in chemistry should consult with the department chair about the possibility of advanced placement in organic chemistry (or, in exceptional circumstances, in physical chemistry). A student whose interest in biochemistry arises from a desire to understand biological systems at the molecular level may choose to study biochemistry as a chemistry major. (See biological chemistry track below.)

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Classical Civilization

Greek and Latin are integral to the study of the Classical world, so prospective majors in classics (CLAS) or classical civilization (CCIV) are encouraged to begin their study of one or both of those languages early in their careers at Wesleyan or to continue their studies by enrolling in upper-level language classes. Competence in either language through at least the intermediate level is required for completing either a CLAS or a CCIV major. While there are no specific courses required for admission to the major, prospective majors should also plan to take at least one course offered by the department in the history, literature, or art and archaeology of the Greek or Roman world prior to declaring their major to familiarize themselves with the interdisciplinary nature of the field. The department requires that all students seeking admission to the CLAS or CCIV major, as well as those who are majors, maintain at least a B- average in courses taken within the department.

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Classics

Greek and Latin are integral to the study of the classical world, so prospective majors in classics (CLAS) or classical civilization (CCIV) are encouraged to begin their study of one or both of those languages early in their careers at Wesleyan or to continue their studies by enrolling in upper-level language classes. Competence in either language through at least the intermediate level is required for completing either a CLAS or a CCIV major. While there are no specific courses required for admission to the major, prospective majors should also plan to take at least one course offered by the department in the history, literature, or art and archaeology of the Greek or Roman world prior to declaring their major to familiarize themselves with the interdisciplinary nature of the field. The department requires that all students seeking admission to the CLAS or CCIV major, as well as those who are majors, maintain at least a B- average in courses taken within the department.

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College of East Asian Studies

Prospective majors are urged to start their language and premodern core courses early in their Wesleyan careers. This will leave more time for study abroad and for more meaningful work in the concentration of the student's choice. To help students chart their way, the college faculty has designed the concentrations listed below. Admission to the college is via application during the spring semester of a student’s first year. Sophomores or above may petition to the CEAS chair for admission; petitions will typically be granted so long as the student has a clear path to completing the major’s requirements.

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College of Integrative Sciences (Linked Major)

Students must apply for admission to the College of Integrative Sciences (CIS). Students are considered eligible if they have declared an NSM major and attended at least one semester of the Research Frontiers course. Students must have a demonstrated interest in interdisciplinary research. Admission to the college is selective and is based on a variety of criteria that include:

  • A strong academic record
  • An expressed intent to major in an NSM department or program
  • A strong interest in interdisciplinary science
  • A completed application that includes a written abstract describing a proposed research project
  • Three letters of reference
  • If needed, an interview with the CIS admissions committee

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College of Letters

Students wishing to major in the College of Letters (COL) must submit an application in the spring semester of their first year, immediately after spring break. Sophomore transfer students may apply before or during orientation. Applicants must show that they will have the level of proficiency in a foreign language that is required by the study abroad program they plan to pursue. Application forms and information can be found on the COL website under “Apply to the Major” (wesleyan.edu/col/apply.html).

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College of Social Studies

Interested students apply for admission to CSS during the spring of their first year. Each applicant is interviewed by a team consisting of a CSS tutor and usually two current CSS students. All CSS majors must complete the economics prerequisite either by taking ECON101 and achieving a grade of CR or a letter grade of at least C- or by taking ECON110 (for which a full-year of college-level calculus is required) and achieving a grade of CR or a letter grade of at least C-. Students are well-advised to have this required course work behind them before entering the CSS. However, some students who have not completed the economics prerequisite are admitted each year on the condition that they must complete the prerequisite in the fall term of the sophomore year. A student who has taken an introductory economics course in the first year but has not achieved a grade of C- or higher (or CR) must take another economics course, which will normally be a 200-level elective, and achieve a grade of CR. A score of 4 or 5 on the AP exams in both microeconomics and macroeconomics or a score of 5 or higher on the IB exam in economics is sufficient to satisfy the prerequisite. Failure to complete the economics prerequisite by the end of the fall term in the sophomore year will result in separation from the CSS.

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Computer Science

To declare the computer science major, a student must have

  • earned a C or higher in COMP211;
  • either earned a C or higher in COMP212 or be enrolled in COMP212 and be earning a grade of C or higher based on completed work; and
  • either earned a C or higher in MATH228 or MATH261 or be enrolled in MATH228 or MATH261 and be earning a grade of C or higher based on completed work.

Note: The MATH228 or MATH261 requirement applies to students declaring the COMP major after June 30, 2016.

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Dance

  • Successful completion of the required sequence courses:
  • An admissions interview with the prospective major’s advisor

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Earth and Environmental Sciences

Gateway courses for the major

To declare E&ES as a major, students are required to have completed an E&ES gateway course (E&ES101, E&ES115, E&ES197, or E&ES199), and to have completed (or be currently taking) two gateway courses (or higher) in biology, chemistry, mathematics, or physics.

E&ES101 Dynamic Earth 1
E&ES115 Introduction to Planetary Geology 1
E&ES197 Introduction to Environmental Studies 1
E&ES199 Introduction to Environmental Science and Sustainability 1

Sophomore Seminar

E&ES195 Sophomore Field Course 0.5

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Economics

Completion of ECON110 with a grade of C+ or higher and completion of, or enrollment in, ECON300 are required for entry into the economics major. A student who fails to obtain a grade of C+ or better in ECON110 may be admitted to the major only after that student obtains a grade of C+ or better in ECON300.

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English

Students considering majoring in English should consult the department website (wesleyan.edu/english). Potential majors must take ENGL201 Ways of Reading in their first or second year. Students who have taken the course and received a grade of B- or better will be admitted as majors during the spring term of their sophomore year. Students who take the course during that term will be admitted provisionally, pending the receipt of a grade of B- or better. In exceptional circumstances, and with the approval of the department chair, students who have not taken ENGL201 by the end of the sophomore year may be admitted to the major contingent on completion of ENGL201 in the junior year.

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Environmental Studies (Linked Major)

The following requirements are necessary to complete the ENVS linked-major

  • An introductory course or an AP 4 or 5 on Environmental Science AP Exam
  • Sophomore Seminar ENVS201
  • Three core electives, one from each area
  • Three additional electives, whether or not in the core list
  • Two semesters of senior colloquium, ENVS391, ENVS392
  • A senior capstone project course

One of the following introductory courses serves as the gateway to the ENVS linked-major program

  • BIOL197/E&ES197
  • E&ES199
  • With the exception of BIOL197/E&ES197 or E&ES199, all other courses must be at the 200 level or higher
  • Two courses that are either student forums or research tutorials may be substituted for non-core electives

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Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

The prerequisite for becoming a feminist, gender, and sexuality studies (FGSS) major is taking one of the gateway courses. These courses are designated annually. Students ordinarily take a gateway course during either semester of the sophomore year and declare the major in the spring semester. Gateway courses for 2017–2018 include:

FGSS200 Sex/Gender in Critical Perspective (FGSS Gateway) 1
FGSS205 #Sayhername: Intersectionality and Feminist Activism (FGSS Gateway) 1
FGSS269 Gender and History (FGSS Gateway) 1

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Film Studies

The requirements for admission include a minimum overall academic average of B (85.0) and the successful completion by the middle of the sophomore year of two designated entry-level courses with a grade of B+ or better in each. Entry to the major is possible only after completion of these two courses and application to the film major. To apply, students must meet with the department chair by the first semester of their sophomore year and place their names on the list of potential majors. Students on this list will receive an application form. Students who do not meet with the department chair will not receive an application or be considered for the major. Film studies faculty will evaluate applications based on performance in film studies classes (including but not limited to grades) and any other factors deemed pertinent.

Because of the prerequisites and major requirements, students transferring to Wesleyan after their first semester sophomore year are not able to declare the film studies major.

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French Studies

Our criterion for admission in the minor is a grade of B or higher in FREN215 or its equivalent.

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German Studies

To become a German studies major, a student should have no grade lower than a B in any course taken in the department. The department recognizes the diversity of student interests and goals by giving its majors great flexibility in designing their programs of study. Students should work closely with their major advisors to put together coherent courses of study and assure that they will make steady progress toward mastery of the German language. The department strongly recommends that majors fulfill Stages I and II of the general education expectations.

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Government

To be admitted as a government major, your academic history must show that you have completed at least one government course with a grade of B- or better, and your General Education Report must confirm that you have already—by the end of your third semester at Wesleyan—formally completed stage I of the General Education Expectations.

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Hispanic Literatures and Cultures

Students qualify for this major with a grade of B or better in SPAN221 or the equivalent.

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History

How do I join? Find a faculty member whom you would like to have serve as your advisor. Any history faculty member may serve as an advisor by agreement with the student, but if you are not certain, you may ask the History Department chair, Gary Shaw, by e-mail at gshaw@wesleyan.edu. Then go to your portfolio and declare the history major. After you do that, fill out a form that can be obtained from the history website at wesleyan.edu/history/, under “For History Majors.”

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Italian Studies

Students qualify for this major with a grade of B or better in ITAL111 or the equivalent.

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Latin American Studies

Admission to the Latin American studies major (LAST) requires (a) competence in either Spanish or Portuguese; (b) an academic record that shows ability both in Latin American studies and in the intended department of concentration; and (c) a judgment by core LAST faculty that you are likely to be able to maintain a grade point average of B- or better in all courses taken at Wesleyan that are cross-listed with LAST. For additional details, please visit wesleyan.edu/last/formajors/.

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Mathematics

Every student is welcome to major in Mathematics. Students are advised to finish calculus up to MATH222 and linear algebra (either MATH221 or MATH223) before making the decision.

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Medieval Studies

There are no requirements for admission to the medieval studies major. For information about the program, please visit our website at wesleyan.edu/medistud/.

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Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

Students are encouraged to begin course work toward the MB&B major in the first year so that they can take maximum advantage of upper-level MB&B courses, research, and study-abroad opportunities in later years. However, the major can certainly be completed successfully if initiated during sophomore year.

A prospective MB&B major can begin with the core introductory biology series (MB&B181/BIOL181 and MB&B182/BIOL182; associated laboratory MB&B191/BIOL191 and MB&B192/BIOL192) and/or the core general chemistry series (CHEM141/CHEM143 and CHEM142/CHEM144; associated laboratory, CHEM152). MB&B181 is offered in small sections rather than a single, large lecture class. These small sections allow for problem-based learning at a more individualized pace as students master the first semester of university-level biology.

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Music

Prerequisites to the music major:

One Course in the Music Theory Gateway Category 1
Materials and Design
Tonal Harmony
Theory and Analysis
Theory of Jazz Improvisation

Note: MUSC103, a prerequisite for all other theory classes, may be waived on the basis of a placement test. For AP Music Theory credit questions, see "Additional Information."

One Course in the History/Culture Gateway Category 1
World Music
Music History Seen From Keyboard Instruments
History of European Art Music
Introduction to Experimental Music
Introduction to South Indian Music
Music and Theater of Indonesia
Introduction to North Indian Music

Note: For the Class of 2019, the history/culture capability prerequisite can be met with any course in that category.

One Course in the Performance Category 1
MUSC 405 through MUSC 499

Note: MUSC405 satisfies the prerequisite but will not count toward the requirements for the major.

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Neuroscience and Behavior

One or more of the foundation courses in biology (BIOL181, BIOL182) are prerequisites for the advanced NS&B courses offered by the Biology Department. Although not legislated as prerequisites, NS&B213 and NS&B laboratory courses provide important conceptual and practical background for independent research in the junior and senior years. The ideal course sequence would include BIOL181 and BIOL182 along with chemistry in the first year. In the sophomore year, one would take NS&B213. The other required courses and research tutorials would be spread out over the last two years. For information on the pathway through the major, please visit wesleyan.edu/nsb/pathways.html for further information.

To be admitted to the major during March of the sophomore year, a student must have completed, with grades of C- or better, at least two of the full-credit courses listed in foundation and core courses that follow. At least one of these credits must be either NS&B213 or BIOL181.

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Philosophy

All students planning to major will submit a major request form.

Prospective majors should pay particular attention to the prerequisites for intermediate and advanced courses when planning their schedules. Among other courses, PHIL201PHIL202PHIL205, PHIL212 and PHIL231 are required or recommended for a variety of subsequent courses.

Because philosophy ranges over subjects in other disciplines, such as economics, government, mathematics, physics, psychology, and religion, students considering philosophy as a major field are strongly advised to choose a balanced combination of solid liberal arts courses conforming to Wesleyan expectations for generalization.

Students who intend to apply for the social justice track will work with an advisor to submit a concentration proposal by the end of drop/add during their fifth semester.

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Physics

The appropriate course for students considering a physics major depends primarily on their preparation. There are four common gateways into the major beginning in the fall semester.

  • PHYS113 is a calculus-based introductory mechanics course requiring one semester of calculus, taken in either secondary school or in college, at about the level of MATH121. A student who has had no calculus is advised to take calculus during the first year, then PHYS113 in the first semester of the sophomore year.
  • Students who have had a strong preparation in physics and calculus may take PHYS219.This course is intended for majors but is available to first-year or other students who have had both integral and differential calculus at about the level of MATH121/MATH122 and a solid course in mechanics with calculus at the level of PHYS113.
  • Students from both of the above gateways merge into the electricity and magnetism course of PHYS116 in the spring. Students intending to major in physics should complete either track no later than the end of their sophomore year and preferably by the end of their first year.
  • Exceptionally well-prepared students may begin with PHYS213. Students who feel that they fall into this category should consult with a member of the physics faculty.

Laboratory courses. The PHYS113/PHYS116 sequence has associated laboratory courses, PHYS123 in the fall and PHYS124 in the spring. These laboratory sections are half-credit courses associated with the lecture courses. PHYS124 is required for the major. We encourage students to take the laboratory courses for a firsthand opportunity to observe, both qualitatively and quantitatively, some of the physical phenomena discussed in the lectures.

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Psychology

Students wishing to declare a major in psychology should prepare as early as possible because declaration must be done during the sophomore year. Psychology does not admit students to the major after the end of the sophomore year. Junior transfer students have until the end of the first week of the junior year and must meet all admission requirements, as listed below, at their previous institution.

For the Class of 2018 and earlier: At the time of application, a student must demonstrate that he or she: (1) has taken two full-credit courses in the field of psychology at Wesleyan and received a B or higher in each course. These courses may come from all courses that originate in the Psychology Department (refer to WesMaps), all courses cross-listed with psychology that count toward a breadth requirement for the major, and all courses (including those not cross-listed) that count toward the statistics requirement for the major; and (2) has met stage I General Education Expectations. At the time of application to the major, each student must also present his or her plan/petition for satisfying the cultural-immersion requirement. Students are generally expected to declare the major at the end of the sophomore year. If a student is a second semester sophomore and enrolled in psychology courses needed to declare the major, he or she can still declare it during the sophomore year, but we will hold materials and would not formally admit the student until the end of the term following successful completion of these courses. Transfer students must receive a B or higher in each of two psychology courses from their previous institution.

For the Class of 2019 and later: At the time of application, a student must demonstrate that he or she (1) has taken two full-credit courses in the field of psychology at Wesleyan and received a B or higher in each course; (2) has completed the introductory psychology (or a replacement breadth course that will allow an AP or IB credit in place of introductory psychology), research methods, and statistics requirements for the major (these same courses may be used to fulfill the first requirement as well); and (3) has fulfilled the University’s stage I General Education Expectations. If a student is enrolled in courses needed to complete these requirements during the second term of the sophomore year, the student should still declare the major; we will just not formally admit the student until the end of the term upon successful completion of these courses. Students with outstanding requirements to complete are required by the Dean's Office to either declare a second major or submit a major deferral form to their class dean in the event they are unable to successfully complete the admission requirements for psychology. Transfer students must receive a B or higher in each of two psychology courses from their previous institution.

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Religion

All majors are required to take RELI151, in which they must earn a grade of B- or better. This introductory course is taught every semester. Majors are required to take it before the end of their junior year. It is strongly encouraged that students take RELI151 in their first two years at Wesleyan.

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Romance Studies

Students qualify for this major with a grade of B or better in any combination of two of the following courses or the equivalent: FREN215, ITAL111, or SPAN221.

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Science in Society

Students who declare their major in SISP must specify the fields in which they plan to complete their science requirement and their area of concentration. Students who seek to add the major after their sophomore year will only be admitted after review to ensure that they are in a good position to complete the major. All students who declare the major must submit a statement of their goals in the major, for advising purposes, and for later evaluation of how well those goals were met. There are no other requirements for admission to the major.

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Sociology

Students who wish to declare the major must have successfully completed SOC151 and must have completed or be currently enrolled in one additional Sociology Department course including:

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Theater

Gateway Courses
Please note that these courses must be completed in the theater department by the second semester of sophomore year
THEA105 Production Laboratory (One 0.5 credit in the technical aspects of scenic, costume, or lighting design) 0.5
THEA203 Special Topics in Theater History 1
THEA245 Acting I 1

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